the personal quest

March 17, 2018   |   by oemb1905

In the following passage, I am reflecting on my current life, health, spiritual and service work, my career and more. I am writing this on my wiki for own monitoring and documentation, and I am also sharing on Facebook in case others in that large digital network find it helpful.

I must admit, I have taken some time off from monitoring my health in a consistent manner. I am certainly not unhealthy, but the lack of consistent work with an already slow metabolism has caused me to put on 50 undesireable pounds since Dascha was born in 2012. My goal is to return to a slim and toned 225 – not by dieting, not by any major change in my routine, by rather just reaffirming my old routines and centering on them daily. Accordingly, I will be doing the following.

Monitor portions of common breakfast meats, and limit to 1-2, not 4-5. Continue with eggs, as they are a super food after all, but reduce to 1-2, instead of 3 or sometimes 4. Continue with healthy breads, but limit to 1 slice, and cut natural butter in half. Roughly half the weekly breakfast days will substitute fruit and grains for the eggs and protein. Some days will be dairy based with grain, i.e., milk and oats, etc., but on those days I will not do fruit. I do not enjoy eating fruit with milk – at all.

Lunches will usually be a plastic ware full of steamed veggies, skinless chicken (or other healthy meat) and onions (or other bulbs) cooked in water and seasonings, and maybe a small piece of cheese. This would be a big change because, with my new job, I had been eating out extensively. I must say it has been fun to eat out more in the last year than in the previous 5, but it has its toll. When faced with large menus, I often pick the novelty item, and that is often less healthy than it should be. Some days I will exchange salads with the protein and veggie concoction. I usually bring a plastic bag of sliced chicken for the salad, and I exclusively use olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. I typically eat the same for dinner as I do for lunch, or I stagger them, i.e., lunch is the salad and dinner is the protein veggie combo.

I am not only taking this time to re-invoke my eating patterns from ’08 – ’12, but I am also engaging in serious mental and spiritual work. I am working with some mentors on some common texts that shall remain private, but I will be using these to ground myself as I begin writing more extensively about educational leadership, free software, and the achievement gap. I have noticed that my ability to write and my desire to write are hindered my a Self that is not optimally healthy. It is amazing that I have been able to write at all given the whirlwind that getting my kids to 3ish and 5ish was and is to this day. It feels that only yesterday I was running 12 miles a day, setting a personal record on the Austin 3M half-marathon, and eating well. I will be working on formal academic work and informal spiritual work at the same time, and although related, I will not explicitly tie them together. I will also resume daily walking or jogging of three miles or thirty minutes (whatever comes first), and 30 sit-ups (crunches really) and push-ups.

Thankfully, I have never been much of a sweets guy. My vice is usually in portions, and I do have a fondness of beer. Beginning about five months ago, however, I began limiting my beer intake to bi-weekly meetings with a tech society that I attend, but even that has proven to be too much for my digestive track. With 40 coming up, I am going to limit alcohol, sweets, etc., to far less than that. I do not think it is healthy to put an exact number on that or to cut oneself off from stimuli entirely, but my stomach does not treat craft beer the same way it used to. Part of getting old I suppose. For now, taking a natural pause or break.

I have begun working on Tynker with my children regularly, and Dascha has seriously taken to the programming language they use called blockly. I enjoy that Python is integrated and I am amping up my Python work on the side so I can stay a step ahead of her. She is doing well with the horse riding lessons on Sundays, and Wolf is engaged in soccer (but we need more). Dascha has taken over nightly story reading. I am helping both of them learn centering practices and other forms of meditation. Dascha is at a second grade level in kindergarten academically, but needs work on behavior. Wolf needs work on behavior. Both are progressing as they should, but it takes continual work.

My wife and I like the Discourse rough. But rough gets tired at times, and we are working on being a little gentler in the coming year or so. This is easier said than done, however, and thankfully we have years of experience of how each other works, and years of practice. We still walk with the kids, but not as much. We are amping up that tradition as it is healthy for all of us, easy to do, and sublime. The saddle hike is very enjoyable and doable for all four of us. The kids continue to be monster day hikers like their daddy.

I serve on two educational Boards, and I am currently trying to form an endowment for one. I am also entering into a new relationship with some folks that might result in a newly formed non-profit. I will keep everyone posted on that front. Additionally, I run a high school student’s hacking club and we were very competitive this past year, and we are no engaging in a second competition, and more importantly, mentoring students in lots of systems administration learning outcomes, soft citizenship skills, and free software. I am beginning discussions with SFCC about how to get involved and assist in sponsoring their computer club as well at the college level. I will hear from UNM in a week or so on my application status for the EdD, and I am ready for any outcome. I do hope I succeed, as it will be a rich cohort and learning experience that will no doubt contribute to my service engine and educational leadership.

I love both of my jobs. I have struggled teaching the cyclical curriculum at SFCC, but I embrace the approach and understand the reasons for its implementation. I am likewise humbled at Schaefer IT, having learned more in the last year or so than I learned in five years of mentoring a students computer club. There is no substitute for real-world experience and application. I am living a dream and get to use free software daily, switched my server and website to a self hosted Debian machine, have a Purism laptop, and feel safer and healthier with technology than ever. I have also built two GNU/Linux machines for my kids, the same ones which I use for teaching them basics of system administration and programming.

And lots of love and striving for the good …


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